On December 1, World Health Organisation observes World AIDS Day. This year’s theme compliments the UN Sustainable Development Goals and promotes ‘Right to Health’. WHO will stress on the need for the 36.7 million HIV patients to reach the goal of universal health coverage. The slogan supporting these ideas reads “Everybody Counts”. This day aims to advocate for safe, effective and affordable medicines including diagnostics and health commodities for HIV patients. They also must be protected against the financial threats that the disease and its treatment will give rise to.
To achieve universal health coverage, WHO had a few aims to follow. They wanted inclusive and integrated services to be delivered to HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis patients. They wanted affordable care and stronger health systems in countries for HIV patients. In 2016, 1 million people lost their lives due to the HIV related causes, globally, according to WHO data. 54% of adults and 43% of children living with HIV are currently receiving lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART). Global ART coverage for pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV is high at 76%.
There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help prevent transmission so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives.
According to the National AIDS Control Organisation report, India had 2.1 million patients with HIV in 2014. It was reported in 2014 that India was the third highest in terms of the number of people with HIV disease. Over the period 2012-2017, National AIDS Control Programme IV was an ambitious scheme which aimed to accelerate the process of reversal, further strengthening the epidemic response in India through a cautious and well-defined integration process. The main objectives of NACP-IV were to reduce new infections and provide comprehensive care and support to all PLHIV and treatment services to all those who require it. Formulating each of them, undertaking research, reviewing evidence, consolidating field observations and programme experiences, conducting detailed discussions and deliberations, piloting and periodic evaluations.
Strengthening the nationwide Strategic Information Management System is a high priority for the government. Its campaigns usually focus on promoting contraceptive methods of intercourse, information dissemination about the disease, deconstructing the taboo around it and busting myths. To an extent, these campaigns have been helping in making a stigma-free society for people suffering from HIV/AIDS.
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The CSR Journal Team